With a well-designed website you can win over new customers, boost your brand and catalyze business growth in a major way. Of course if you fail to take the proper precautions at the design phase, you might find that your efforts are compromised by a copyright infringement claim from a third party.
To help you avoid this scenario, here are a few tips on how to build a site that looks good and does not fall foul of copyright regulations.
Use images carefully
If you are careless in the way you source the images for your site, you could easily end up with a cease and desist letter dropping onto your doormat from a vexed copyright owner who has found one of their creations plastered on one of your pages without permission.
Steering clear of this conundrum is easy when you either use an official stock image supplier like ShutterStock or Getty Images to pay for royalty-free pics, or harness one of the many sites on which copyright-free images are available, such as Unsplash or Pexels. Always remember to include attribution if this is required when using images owned by others, as this can be another bone of contention if you overlook it.
Another way to avoid issues here is to pay for a professional photographer to capture images for your site, or even take them yourself, if you have the right equipment and a good eye.
Create unique content
Just as carelessly copy-pasting images from elsewhere on the web is a one way ticket to copyright infringement, it is a bad idea to lift chunks of text wholesale from other websites and dump them onto your own.
There are a few reasons that doing this is problematic, aside from the likelihood that you will be breaching copyright. Most importantly of all, this tactic will hurt your search engine optimization, making your website harder to find, since Google’s algorithms can easily detect content that has been plagiarized from elsewhere online and will penalize offending sites without hesitation.
You should instead endeavor to either write unique content for every page yourself, or pay for a professional copywriter to handle this for you. It is ironic, or perhaps appropriate, that an experienced copywriter can keep you out of copyright dilemmas in this way.
Protect your own IP
The final thing to bear in mind with regards to copyright infringement when building a website is that you can also have your content purloined and repurposed by other people, leaving you the victim rather than the offender in this context.
For this reason it is always worth being on the lookout for any instances of your site, the content it contains and the branding it features being used without permission elsewhere. It also pays to be aware of the rights you have with regards to copyrighting your IP, whatever form it takes, as well as being willing to take action when malicious misuse is unveiled.